Letter: Did staff serve council well on highway mall application?

Staff needs to do a better job informing council, writes Tom Kent.

Editor,

Democracy works! In this instance, a bit like sausage making. What can we take from this now terminated process? It appears that one or two councillors rolled up their sleeves and started digging.

Did city staff serve council and the citizens well? I submit it did not. It is staff’s job to advise council on compliance of a proposal with city bylaws, the Official Community Plan, etc… I respectfully suggest that the new Chief Administrative Officer use this application as a learning experience and make sure that the requisite staff members provide council with the straight goods on future applications.

Reading the OCP and the resort master plan should have been a prerequisite for anyone hired in planning, development and engineering, and for the CAO. That’s probably two days of solid reading!

Anyone with some development or business experience with real estate could crunch the applicant’s touted numbers and determine that they did not make sense. Either the developer was inexperienced or something was amiss. In any event, some diligent citizens and councillors got the job done. Kudos to them. Now it’s time for staff to earn its keep in the future.

Tom Kent